Competition / Competitors
We face significant competition in all aspects of our business. Specifically,
we compete for members, enterprises and professional organizations; the bases
upon which we compete differ among these areas as discussed below.
• Members—Professional Networks. The market for online professional
networks is new and rapidly evolving. Other companies such as Facebook,
Google, Microsoft and Twitter could develop competing solutions or
partner with third parties to offer such products. We face competition
from a number of smaller companies in international markets, such as Xing
in Germany and Viadeo in France, that provide online professional
networking solutions, as well as Internet companies in the customer
relationship management market, such as Salesforce.com (Chatter and
Jigsaw). Because membership on our website is available at no cost, we
don’t compete for members on the basis of price. Instead, we compete
primarily on the basis of the value and relevance of the products for
professionals, ease of use and availability of our website and our
products and solutions, and the total number of professional members and
relevant data available.
• Enterprises and Professional Organizations—Recruiting. With respect to
our hiring solutions, we compete with established online recruiting
companies such as Monster+HotJobs and CareerBuilder, talent management
companies, such as Taleo, and traditional recruiting firms. In this area,
we compete primarily on the basis of the efficiency and usefulness of our
solutions for enterprises and professional organizations, which are
influenced by the number and engagement of our members.
• Enterprises and Professional Organizations—Advertising and Marketing.
With respect to our marketing solutions, we compete with online and
offline outlets that generate revenue from advertisers and marketers. In
this area, we compete to attract and retain advertisers by giving them
access to the most relevant and targeted audiences for their products or
Other companies that provide content for professionals could develop more
compelling offerings that compete with our premium subscriptions and adversely
impact our ability to sell and renew subscriptions to our members.
Additionally, companies that currently focus primarily on social networking
could expand into professional networking or users of social networks could
choose to use, or increase the use of, those networks for professional
We believe that we have competitive strengths that position us favorably in our
markets. However, our industry is evolving rapidly and is becoming increasingly
competitive. Larger and more established companies may focus on professional
networking and could directly compete with us. Smaller companies could also
launch new products and services that we do not offer and that could gain
market acceptance quickly.